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Cultural and Cognitive Development in Short-term Study Abroad: Illuminating the 360 Experience

Susan Burton, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The three articles in this dissertation investigate leading others through developmental opportunities by facilitating their engagement in intercultural challenges. Specifically the research explores the meaning followers make of developmental challenges during short-term study abroad experiences and encounters with diversity. Data in the form of pre and post test scores of the Intercultural Development Inventory, (IDI) were collected from eleven University students who participated in short-term study abroad programs during the summer semester. The meaning students made of their experiences was explored through the use of Subject-Object Interviews that also illuminated the meaning of the IDI scales through different cognitive lenses. The results of these findings illustrate the various perspectives of student learning while engaging in intercultural and interpersonal challenges. Recognizing these differing perspectives provides avenues of opportunity for leaders to support followers during developmental challenges through feedback, guidance, and support. This research provides compelling reason that contrasts of cultural difference provide opportunity to illustrate possible areas for growth, a 360-degree view of self. The opportunity for this perspective is dependent upon one allowing for, and engaging in, transformation of the patterns of their mind.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Adult education|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Burton, Susan, "Cultural and Cognitive Development in Short-term Study Abroad: Illuminating the 360 Experience" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3518142.